Can Apoxyomenos help Lošinj become another Pula or Split?
The Museum of Apoxyomenos, where the bronze statue of Apoxyomenos will be displayed, should soon open on the island of Lošinj, the place where it was found in April 1999. The statue is returning there after touring prestigious world museums, reports tportal.hr on March 13, 2016.
The news was announced by Croatia’s Minister of Culture Zlatko Hasanbegović, Minister of Tourism Anton Kliman and the Mayor of Mali Lošinj Gari Capelli. The sculpture was discovered by Rene Wouters, a now deceased tourist from Belgium. Wouters found the statue in the sea near Lošinj in 1996 and reported it in the fall of 1998. “Since April 1999, after it was removed from the sea, the ancient bronze statue was cared for by the Ministry of Culture and the Croatian Conservation Institute”, recalled minister Hasanbegović. He also praised the efforts of more than 200 scientists and experts who have worked on the statue until 2006, when it was first presented to the public in Zagreb and shortly afterwards in Florence.
“For its work on Apoxyomenos, the Croatian Conservation Institute was given the prestigious EU Award for Conservation of Cultural Heritage – Europa Nostra”, the minister said. Before it is placed in its permanent home, Hasanbegović added, the bronze sculpture has been displayed in many Croatian cities and in the Louvre Museum, while last year the visitors of the British Museum and those in Los Angeles also had the opportunity to see it.
The Minister of Tourism stressed the importance of the symbiotic relationship between culture and his sector, which tourists certainly recognize, and noted that Pula was branded on the basis of its “ancient foundations” while recently the same scenario is being repeated in Split.
“There are ten exceptional, but very similar destinations on our coast. Maybe the cultural features will play a key role for visitors when making a decision where to go on vacation. The bronze Apoxyomenos will certainly bring Lošinj an advantage”, Mayor Capelli said.